STONEVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A new group in Mississippi trying to reduce metal theft from agriculture operations in that state and in neighboring Louisiana and Arkansas.

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says his office is creating a Mississippi Delta Agricultural Theft Task Force. It will connect law enforcement agencies, scrap metal recycling yards and others.

Hosemann says farmers face big losses from copper theft, and it can be difficult for scrap yards to know whether items were stolen.

The task force will create an alert system through a metal-theft investigation system on the LeadsOnline website. Hosemann says more than 30,000 businesses nationwide report transactions through the website.

Attorneys general in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee met in Memphis in 2014 to discuss preventing the sale of stolen copper across state lines.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.